Sie sind auf Seite 1von 11

Strategy

Marketing

Analysis

Resources

Te c h n o l o g y

LEAD FEATURE
workplace design and productivity
APARNA PIRAMAL RAJE
on breaking silos.
[ PAGE-28 ]

Indias first world-class management magazine

SONALI RASTOGI
on the need to strike
a balance.
[ PAGE-32 ]
JUL-AUG 16

VOL 15

don tapscott
suresh lulla
winnie brignac hart
howard j morgan

Anant Gupta

joelle k jay

President and Chief Executive Officer


HCL Technologies

jul-aug 16
R100
82

SCAN THIS TO STAY


CONNECTED
www.thesmartmanager.com
UK 2.50 USA $9.50 INDIA R100

ISSUE 4

illustration by darshan sompura

16 www.thesmartmanager.com

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

we have to get used to a world that is continuously in beta mode


cover story
G up t a

we have to get
used to a world
that is continuously
in beta mode
Anant Gupta, President and CEO, HCL Technologies Limited, in this exclusive
interview with The Smart Manager talks about how the company has redefined
customer engagement as relationship beyond the contract, and how they are
investing in technologies that are driving fundamental shifts in the market. He
also drives home the point that to stay relevant in this landscape of constant
disruption, managers and leaders need to change their attitude and design
their new U2.0 versions.

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

www.thesmartmanager.com 17

HIS

leadership
style was profiled in the
bestseller Blueprint to a

Billion: 7 Essentials to Achieve

Exponential Growth. He learnt from


his father risk-taking, being meticulous,

and the importance of trust and transparency.

He wrote code in college. He is fond of exploring


new technology gadgets. He authored the worlds
first book on remote infrastructure management,
The Blackbook on RIM. He is a billiards enthusiast. He
likes reading strategy books. Born in 1965, he is the president
and chief executive officer of a $6.2bn global information
technology services company. He learnt the value of building a people
culture from his previous boss. He holds an M.Sc. Engineering in
Telecommunications from University of Liverpool. He believes
there is an opportunity in every disruptive change. He has worked
on defining the 21st Century Enterprise blueprint. He has also
been appointed Chairman of World Economic Forums
Steering Committee on IIoT.

18 www.thesmartmanager.com

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

we have to get used to a world that is continuously in beta mode G up t a

Our growth story is a


result of our obsessive
focus on customer
relationships
Could you throw some light on HCLs journey
from Employee First to Relationship Beyond
the Contract?
First of all, this is not a journey from Point A to Point B
as both Employees First and Relationship Beyond the
Contract (RBTC) are two philosophies that coexist and are
intertwined in our culture.
With Employee First Customer Second (EFCS), we
inverted the organizational pyramid to make management
accountable to employees. In the services industry, the real
value for the company is created in the interface between the
employee and the customers; we call it the value zone. The
more enthused, enabled, and empowered the value zone
is, the faster a company will grow. EFCS therefore argues
that the management of a company should be solely in the
business of supporting and enthusing the value zone. In
implementing EFCS at HCL, we took several revolutionary
steps to reverse the accountability, focus, and raison d'tre of
the traditional top-down corporate pyramid.
What this sparked was an unprecedented empowerment
of the value zone, the place where our employees interact
with our customers.

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

It also resulted in a culture of ideapreneurship, where


each employee felt empowered and engaged to think,
create, and execute new ideas to create value for our
company and our customers. Our approach to customer
engagements thereafter found a new definition which we
described as delivering Relationship Beyond the Contract
(RBTC). Let me explain.

www.thesmartmanager.com 19

We have institutionalized this innovation through


unique platforms, such as Value Portal, and MAD
JAM, to ensure that we are able to deliver relevant
business value to customers in real time.

A contract can safeguard all that is in your and my span


of control, but in todays uncertain environmentwhere
business and the macro environment are undergoing
new challenges and changes every daywe believe
what will ensure a continued defense of our customers
interests is nourishment of an engagement from outside
the box, through everyday innovation by thousands
of our employees interfacing with system lifelines and
critical business processes. We have institutionalized this
innovation through unique platforms, such as Value Portal
and MAD JAM, to ensure that we are able to deliver
relevant business value to customers in real time, despite
changing times. In essence, what we are trying to say is
do not obsess over contracts, obsess over relationships.

HCLs phenomenal four-year growth


(31st March 2012 to 31st March 2016)
Market Cap increased by 235%
EPS increased by 253%
Revenue increased by 55%
EBIT 208%

And mind you, this is not just a feel-good philosophy;


the RBTC has had a clear business impact on us. We
have had a double-digit increase in CSAT14%, and our

20 www.thesmartmanager.com

revenues have increased by


55% in the last four years.
We have garnered several
industry citations along
the way like debuting in
Forbes 1000 this year,
being ranked amongst
Forbes Asias Fab 50 List
for the sixth consecutive
year, being included amongst
the worlds most valuable 500 brands,
and receiving 20+ industry awards on our customer
engagement best practices.
So has this impacted your client portfolio also?
Tell us more about your client mining and
retention ratios in light of RBTC.
Like I said before, we continue to strengthen and grow
our relationships through our focus on RBTC, zero defect
transition, and continuous value add through enhanced
value propositions. Our employees themselves have
generated 55,000+ ideas through our value generation
platforms so far, resulting in nearly $1.6bn worth of
incremental value delivered to our customers.
Over the last four years, we have doubled our number
of customers across categories. Further, we added
customers at the higher revenue range faster than the lower
revenue range, indicating the value and strengths of our
relationships. As a company, we have outpaced the industry
average in growth at all levels above the $5mn+ client
category, so I would say we are doing exceptionally well

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

we have to get used to a world that is continuously in beta mode G up t a

on client mining and retention parameters; our customers


loyalty and trust are what we are most proud of.
You have previously said the company is
investing in what we believe are forces
fundamentally shifting the market. Could you
elaborate? How has HCL Technologies invested
to take advantage of these?
I truly believe that technology is driving fundamental
shifts in the market. We have therefore been consciously
investing, both organically and inorganically, across the
following three strategic capabilities which are the future of
the IT services industry.
01 digitalization: After launching our BEYONDigital
Business Unit, we have hired some of the best talent
available in this market. The employee mix in this
business today represents a diversity of skills like
anthropology, design thinking, behavioral psychology,
data science, etc. We have developed several IPs also
along the way from our worldwide network of eight
Co-Innovation Labs. Recently, IDC called us a leader
in digital transformation and a major player for
digital consulting.
02 IoT: Multiple decades of clear market leadership in
engineering and R&D services gave us a great entry
point into the IoT space. We have already developed
15+ IPs, and significantly invested in building
Incubation Labs in Seattle with Microsoft, and with
IBM in India.
03 next-gen ITO: Cloud and autonomics are significantly
disrupting the infrastructure services market. Our

early investments on both these fronts, however,


have ensured that we continue
to maintain our lead in the
ITO market. Today, 80% of
our engagements have some
element of Cloud and 200+
clients are benefiting from
our automation programs.
Together, more than 5,000+
dedicated professionals
are working on these
two tracks in HCL; of
particular note is the
fact that our Cloud IPs
go back to as far as ten
years when we first
launched our debut
version of XaaS service
for IMS, which we
had christened as
MTaaS. Today, of
course, we are the
clear leaders in
the space, a fact
acknowledged by
IDC in its recent
worldwide report on
Cloud services.
We have also made significant
inorganic investments in all these
three spaces, namely PowerObjects to

We are doing exceptionally well on client mining


and retention parameters; our customers
loyalty and trust is what we are most proud of.
The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

www.thesmartmanager.com 21

augment our capabilities in Digital and modern apps space,


Trygstad for further empowering our IoT portfolio and
P2P, and Volvo IT for providing more muscle to our
next-gen ITO Offerings.
Talking of next-generation technologies, what
are your views on the startup ecosystem
in India?
I believe that our country has some of the smartest
minds in the world, and by instinct Indians are
entrepreneurial, ingenuous, and ambitious.
Those two are great combinations for
making a successful entrepreneur, so
I am actually quite upbeat about our
countrys startup ecosystem.
However, I feel that the
cookie-cutter/factory approach of
entrepreneurship that has worked
very well for the Silicon Valley might
not be the best way to approach our
ecosystem. What our entrepreneurs
need is not just financial support, but more
importantly mentorship that will ensure that
their success ratio improves substantially from the
less than 10% mark where it stands today.
If you read the Start-up Genome Report Extra on Premature
Scaling, a project co-authored by Berkeley and Stanford
faculty members, which analyzed 3,200 high growth web/
mobile startups, within three years, 92% of startups failed.
Of those who failed, 74% failed due to premature scaling,

which means they spent too fast on infrastructure, hiring,


etc., without having worked out a business model. The
same report also clearly stated that founders who learn
are more successful ie, startups that have helpful mentors,
track metrics effectively, and learn from startup thought
leaders raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user
growth. I definitely feel that if we reorient our ecosystem
from its present disproportionate focus on funding alone
to one that has access to more mentors and foundational
competenciesour chances of success will
improve significantly.
So are you a supporter of the
Make in India program?
Any program that is aimed at the
economic and social progress of
our country definitely deserves
everyones support. We have many
natural advantages such as a big labor
pool and a large domestic market. Not
surprisingly therefore, with an aggressive
push from the government, growing
appetite of Indias business community, and
a close public-private partnership, India is slowly
emerging as an investment destination of choice. In 2015
alone, net investments by foreign institutional investors
in India totaled $40.92bn, roughly seven times as much
as in the last year. We definitely have, ahead of us, a clear
window of opportunity to become a manufacturing giant.
We must not squander it.

I feel that the cookie-cutter/factory-approach of


entrepreneurship that has worked very well for the
Silicon Valley might not be the best way to approach
our ecosystem.
22 www.thesmartmanager.com

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

we have to get used to a world that is continuously in beta mode G up t a

Automation is one of the greatest opportunities to


break through the present global economic logjam
with the power of technology.

Automation is a central element in the


enterprise of the future. What is your view and
strategy towards automation?
I believe automation is one of the greatest opportunities
to break through the present global economic logjam with
the power of technology. However, in order to realize
its potential and derive its true value, we have to view
automation as a human-machine partnership. And for this,
automation needs to transform into autonomics.
Traditional automation enables lean operations in a
company. It evolves into autonomics with the additional
potency of machine learning, artificial intelligence,
robotics, and analyticsmaking it exponentially more

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

powerful. Now, autonomics is hard-nosed business


strategy. It combines the strength of the worlds most
powerful supercomputer technologies with some truly
innovative automation solutions to empower the
21st Century Enterprise, and radically transform the way
business is run.
Automation in the 21st Century Enterprise must
necessarily be about agile thinking and lean delivery.
DryICE is HCLs proprietary framework which
leverages reference architecture of deep automation and
process transformation to set up a journey, targeting the
simultaneous reduction of workload through automation;
adding simplicity with self-healing, self-service, and

www.thesmartmanager.com 23

Staying relevant within this landscape of constant


disruption and reinvention will require rapid and
ongoing skill development.

proactive support through autonomics; and the creation


of process agility through orchestration. It combines the
lean principles of automation with the agility of IT process
orchestration powered by cognitive agents to eventually
achieve the seamless transition into Next Generation
IT Operations.
Today, 200+ clients are benefiting from our
DryICE Framework which is delivered by
2,000 highly skilled professionals from
centers across the world including
Noida, Cary, Gothenburg, Dallas,
and Singapore. Our efforts in
this direction were recently
lauded at the Automation
Summit where we won the
Best Innovation in Natural
Language Processing
(NLP) Award.
You have earlier said,
the work that you do
now wont remain the
same a few years into the
future. The nature of the work
will fundamentally change. How
will work look like in the future?
What skill sets do managers need to relearn
or unlearn to survive?
The fact is that we have to get used to a world that is
continuously in beta mode. It is a real possibility that
the dream job a student is pursuing today may not even

24 www.thesmartmanager.com

exist in the future. Looking back, the top ten in-demand


jobs of 2010 did not exist in 2004. In fact, in the field of
technology, some of the hottest jobs todaymobile app
designers, data scientists, Cloud computing professionals,
or even social media managersdid not exist in 2000. The
change is so rapid that 65% of todays schoolchildren in the
US are expected to end up in jobs that have not even
been invented yet!
Therefore, staying relevant within
this landscape of constant disruption
and reinvention will require rapid
and ongoing skill development.
So do not wait for a master plan
to reveal itself to you. Take
the first step. Change your
attitude. Design the new you,
U2.0. Learn, experiment,
innovate, collaborate, and
then do it all over again until
your own upgrades are as swift
as your favorite apps.

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

we have to get used to a world that is continuously in beta mode G up t a

Ideas are the most


important currency of
our times

How do you resolve conflicts?


I believe in the power of dialogue.
And dialogue is the backbone of an
employee first culture, which thrives
on trust, transparency, and flexibility.
Empowerment and a collaborative
work environment do not mean that
there should be no conflict. In fact, it
actively encourages articulation of
any difference in opinion. However,
it also means that these are resolved
through open and transparent
communication.

speak and very few to listen. It is


the latter, however, who are more
effective as they not only gather
more insights but, as a result, also
speak with more gravitas. I truly
believe that a leader must grab
every opportunity to listen to
customers, partners, team members,
and then transform the insights
into real-time action. And finally,
a successful leader believes in
collaboration. Given the volatility,
complexity, and ambiguity of the
business environment, a leader
must invert the pyramid to engage,
enable, and empower each individual,
as well as create partnerships internally
across teams, functions, and externally
with customers, partners, and
industry peers.

Three important leadership


lessons
To me, a successful leader has three
fundamental qualities. The first is a
compelling vision. This is the one
thing that most clearly differentiates a
leader from a manager. A good leader
always has his or her eyes set on the
horizon, and feet firmly planted in the
ground. The second is being an avid
listener. Most people communicate to

Work-life integration as opposed


to work-life balance
I do not believe that the two are
contradictory. Whether we admit it or
not, our work and life have become
integrated in todays environment of
hyper-connected systems. So, the
need is to strike a personal balance
within this integrated fabricand
that I believe is essential for
every individual.

How would you define


successful leadership?
Simply stated, successful leadership
is the ability to inspire others to
dream more, learn more, do more,
and become more.

The Smart Manager

Jul-Aug 2016

Your definition of innovation


Ideas are the most important
currency of our times. In order to seed,
nurture, and harvest innovation, we
have to build a culture of ideation. This
can be achieved by aligning beliefs,
intentions, promises, and actions
that allow employees the freedom to
operate with autonomy, build mastery,
and contribute with a sense of purpose.
Any mistake or initiative you
learnt from?
Like most people, I have made
innumerable mistakes. However, all
through my life, I have treated every
mistake as a learning opportunity.
Management philosophies that
have influenced you the most?
It is our Employee First and
Relationship Beyond the Contract
philosophies. To us at HCL, they are not
just management theories though, they
are a way of life.
What is the biggest leadership
lesson that you have learnt?
That if you empower others, you end
up unleashing a chain of energy in the
organization that no market situation or
economic downturn can diminish.

www.thesmartmanager.com 25